Tag Archives: A Pryor Story

A Colorado Pryor Goes On A Mesmerizing Treasure Hunt

Here’s an old news story that includes a Pryor.


Denver Police Disperse Crowd Digging Near Platte River

Denver, Oct. 27
Police were called upon to suppress a riot among several hundred persons attracted to a point along the Platte river by a report that treasure had been buried there.

A M Pryor, real estate agent, with another man and a woman were responsible for the stampede. They began digging yesterday and were arrested. Pryor, who is an amateur hypnotist, used the woman and man as mediums to direct him to the alleged “treasure hole.”

Today hundreds of persons assembled to finish the work begun by the trio.

The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) on October 27, 1914

There were 3 different men who went by the name A. M. Pryor who lived in Colorado at about the same time.

Archibald M. Pryor born about 1846 was the son of David Christopher Pryor. His brother, Ike Pryor, was a wealthy Texas rancher. This Archibald was in Huerfano County as early as 1885 and drops off the records around 1906.

The second man was Archibald M Pryor born about 1876-1877 in TN– He was the son of Archibald born in 1846. He was on Colorado census records from 1900 through 1920 when he was living in Denver.

Austin M Pryor born 1853 in MO was the son of Bennett Pryor. He was in Colorado as early as 1884 through the 1910 Census. His occupation changed from miner to ranch man between census records.

I wonder if A M was really practicing hypnotism or if this was some kind of dowsing or divining rod technique applied to searching for ore.

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Pryor – Bunch (or Punch) Connection to President Obama’s Line?

On CBS Morning Show they ran a story this morning on  how President Obama is descended from an African slave named John Punch through his mother’s Virginia family.  Obama is connected to the Pryors, now I’m wondering if the Pryors are connected to the Bunch line.

Pryor researchers who follow our Facebook Page probably saw that I posted a link to the President’s lineage back in April. http://familypedia.wikia.com/wiki/Ancestors_of_Barack_Obama. Barack Obama has a family lineage that traces back to the Childres/Childress family who married into Pryor families in Colonial Virginia; his 6th great grandparents were Robert Childers/Childress and Nancy Pryor. Robert was a son of Henry Childress born about 1730 in Albemarle Co., VA.

An article about Obama’s connection to the Bunch line also appeared in the NY Times this morning http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/us/obamas-mother-had-african-forebear-study-suggests.html?pagewanted=all. Bunch or Punch are not names that I’ve seen connected with the Pryors, so I had to Google to see what I could find, afterall they were all in roughly the same area of Virginia. In case anyone is interested in researching further, I found Thomas Bunch born 1763 in Louisa Co., VA was the father of Pryor Bunch. Perhaps there’s a Pryor connection in this line?


Pryor Brothers: Thornton and Samuel

Race Horses Crash Fence

I know… there are alot of Thornton and Samuel Pryors, so I should clarify which brothers.  Thornton born about 1781 and Samuel born between 1760 – 1785 were the sons of Joseph Pryor of Botetourt County, VA and his wife Mary Flemming. They were grandsons of Col. Samuel Pryor and Prudence Thornton.

Recently I spent some time searching and reading through Revolutionary War Pension applications. I didn’t find on filed for Joseph Pryor, however I found that serveral men who had filed for pensions claimed to have served under Capt. Joseph Pryor of Botetourt County. I’ve posted quotes that contain information of where they marched and fought while in his companty (read more).  The last record I found of Joseph Pryor in Virginia was when he sold 3 slaves in 1800. He was recorded that same year in Woodford County, KY.

Based upon the date  of his will, Joseph Pryor died in Bourbon County around 1813. His sons Samuel and Thornton were named in his will.  I’ve found traces of Samuel and Thornton in Tennessee and beyond, slowly piecing together their family trees.

I suspect that Samuel and Thornton traveled to Tennessee as part of their ventures in breading thrououghbread horses. In 1806 there was unclaimed mail for Samuel Pryor and Thornton Pryor at the Nashville Post Office. I found in “The Papers of Henry Clay” (yes, the same Henry Clay who was a politician and a statesman!) “Thornton was the brother of Samuel Pryor, trainer and part owner of the horse, Truxton, which raced under Andrew Jackson’s colors.” And, yes indeed this was the same Jackson who became the hero of New Orleans in the War of 1812, later the seventh president of the United States and the guy on the twenty dollar bill. I did some more searching to when General Andrew Jackson owned Truxton and found a 1832 statement that claimed Truxton was sold to Jackson twenty-five years earlier; in about 1807, by “Samuel Pryor of Kentucky.”

It’s facinating how it all comes together! Gen. Jackson was from Middle Tennessee. 1807 is about the time letters were held in Nashville for Thornton and Samuel.  In 1814 Thornton Pryor was accused in an assault case in Robertson County, TN;  I suspect this is the same Thornton Pryor.

The last known records I’ve found of Thornton Pryor was the petition he filed in 1828 concering his father’s estate and then the 1830 Census in Owen Co., KY.

I suspect that Samuel Pryor, the one who sold Truxton to Jackson, is the Samuel Pryor counted on the 1830 Census in Montgomery County, TN. In 1830 this Samuel was 50 to 59 years old (born between 1771-1780) which makes him the right age to be a son Joseph and Mary Pryor.

The Samuel in Montgomery County had only one known child, although there were several younger peopel recorded in his household on the 1830 census. Samuel’s known child was Edward L. Pryor who married Martha A Ryburn and then in 1845 he settled in Hemstead County, AR.  When Edward arrived in Arkansas there was already a Richard Pryor born in Virginia and living in Hempstead County.   Both men appear to have been literate and prominent in the county: Richard was a postmaster and Edward L. a census taker.  Richard Pryor was the trustee of the Spring Hill Male Academy. I haven’t ruled out that Richard and Edward were brothers, however there was only one male 20-29 years old in Samuel’s house in 1830 and that was most likely Edward L.

If you’ve been reasearching this line, please share by commenting!


American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine, Volume 4 by J S Skinner, publ.  September 1832.

The American Race Turf Register, Sportsman’s Herald and General… by Patrick Nisbett Edgar of Granville County, NC in 1833

Making the American Thoroughbred: Especially in Tennessee, 1800-1845, by James Douglas Anderson, Balie Peyton

A Story of Vigilante Justice in GA

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Polk Co., GA – photo by Jimmy Emmerson

I realized I haven’t written any posts about Georgia Pryors. I’m catching up- trying to share some of the interesting Pryor stories I’ve been reading online. This one is from Polk County, GA. I found an account written as a first-person interview of  John T. Pryor who was born in about 1839, probably in Paulding County, GA.

It was on April 6, 1865, shortly before the assassination of Lincoln, that my father was murdered by some of the desperadoes we had arrested.” The story talks about John T Pryor vigilante quest to avenge the death of his father.  Again so many John Pryors, so who was the father of this John Pryor?

I found through census records that John T. Pryor is the son of Haden Pryor.   I’ve updated the Georgia census records on the TN Pryor website. https://tennesseepryors.com/pryor-website/state-records/georgia-counties-m-s/ These Georgia Pryors are kin to the line of Matthew Pryor who settled in Marion Co., TN.  Both lines share Philip Pryor, son of Robert Pryor and Virginia Betty Green as a common ancestor.

This story baffles me. I thought all states had no statue of limitations on murder. Why on earth did John T. Pryor feel free to speak of his deeds in 1897?

The Revenge of John Pryor: The true and thrilling story of the life of a noted North Georgian, written by Houston R. Harper of the Rome, Georgia Tribune on April 18, 1897  http://www.angelfire.com/ga/firstgacav/JohnPryor.html

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Mysterious Death of A Pryor in 1899 (Illinois and Virginia Pryor Lines)

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Vandalia, IL

Here’s a Pryor story right out of the cold case files! I stumbled upon an article on the Leader-Union’s website that tells the story of the murder of a Pryor in Illinois over a hundred years ago. https://www.leaderunion.com/content/james-lafayette-pryor-murder-solved

I had to look to see which Pryor line these folks are from.  Researchers have posted online that James Lafayette Pryor was the son of Thomas Washington Pryor and Nancy Graves Haynes, however it’s likely that Thomas was his grandfather, not his father.  There’s an obituary online at archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/BRANSON/2008-10/1224982766 of Elizabeth Constance Branson Pryor who was married to George A. Pryor (from Pittslyvania Co., VA and settled in Fayette Co., IL)—it states she was the mother of James Lafayette Pryor.  Another obituary posted to an Ancestry.com family tree states Prudence Pryor Lansford of Fayette County, IL was a daughter of Thomas and Nancy Pryor. It states that the family came to Illinois in about 1843 from Virginia. They first settled in Clay County and a year later went to live in Fayette County, however I haven’t been able to find them on the 1850 Census.

James Lafayette Pryor and his wife Lydia Cheshier are on the 1870 Census, the 1880 Census, and Lydia appears on the 1900 Census recorded as a widow.  I found James’ and Lydia’s tombstone on Find A Grave website.

Sorry, even after sifting through my database I don’t know where the Pittsylvania Co., VA Pryors come from.